The Draft: Luck v. the Calendar

While groping for peace, Richard Nixon still faces the grim business of managing war. Last week he sought to humanize the machinery by which his soldiers are conscripted. "The present draft arrangements," he said in a message to Congress, "make it extremely difficult for most young people to plan intelligently as they make some of the most important decisions of their lives, decisions concerning education, career, marriage and family."

The President asked for reforms that would replace an inflexible calendar with random chance. The plan, based on a lottery principle, would start...

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